Raj Kumar Mehmi, a 60-year-old truck driver from Surrey, BC, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in smuggling 80 kgs of cocaine into BC through the Canada-US Pacific Highway border crossing. Mehmi, however, remains at large, prompting a Canada-wide arrest warrant and an INTERPOL Red Notice to be issued.Mehmi's illicit activities first came to light on November 6 2017, when he was apprehended by the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) Waterfront Joint Force Operation unit after the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) discovered 80 sealed bricks of cocaine hidden within the semi-trailer truck he was driving and owned. At the time of the seizure, the estimated street value of the cocaine was $3.2 million.Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), Mehmi faced charges of Importation of a controlled substance (Section 6, 1 CDSA) and possession for the purpose of trafficking (Section 5, 2 CDSA). On September 6 2022, he was found guilty on both charges by a Supreme Court Judge, leading to a sentencing hearing scheduled for January 9 2023.However, on October 11 2022, just before his sentencing, Mehmi managed to flee to India. Boarding a flight from Vancouver, BC, he arrived in New Delhi the following day, eluding Canadian authorities.Due to his absence during the scheduled sentencing, an application to sentence Mehmi in absentia was filed and granted on September 15 2023.On November 16 2023, at the Surrey Provincial Court of BC, Judge Weatherly sentenced Mehmi to nine years for importation of a controlled substance and six years for possession for the purpose of trafficking. Additional penalties included a lifetime ban on firearms, restricted and prohibited weapons, a forfeiture order and a DNA order.Supt. Bert Ferreira, officer in charge of the BC RCMP FSOC–Border Integrity program, emphasized the significance of this criminal conviction in the context of the CBSA-RCMP Joint Border Strategy. "The criminal conviction resulting from this significant drug seizure is a clear demonstration of the CBSA-RCMP Joint Border Strategy’s effectiveness in keeping our border secure," he said.Director Holly Stoner of CBSA Pacific Region echoed this sentiment."The seizure of more than $3 million of cocaine at our Pacific Highway border crossing and the subsequent 15-year conviction are a direct result of the strong partnership between our organizations and the diligent work of our officers."With Mehmi still on the loose, a Canada-wide arrest warrant has been issued and an INTERPOL Red Notice is being sought, urging law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest Mehmi, pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action. Authorities are urging the public not to approach Mehmi and to report any information about his whereabouts to their local police agency or anonymously through the BC Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-222-8477.